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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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to the confidence which that Office has in its official
historians. It does not matter if all the reticences of the
Foreign Office are based on consideration for person-
alities, for all the things that historians want to know are
connected with personalities. There are perhaps no
" secrets of State ", for they are all secrets of human
beings—and it is those that we wish to see revealed.

All this, as we have said, does not invalidate the
publications of British Diplomatic Documents or prevent
their having great value for us within their limits. It
does show, however, that " official history " is stealing
a march upon us, as between one generation and another;
and we are no longer quite so sure that a jealous outside
historian is invading the Foreign Office to push our
interests without regard to the reticences that officialdom
may desire. What would have to be regarded as most
perturbing of all perhaps—since it would mean that
our " official historians " were becoming accomplices
in an effort to lull us to sleep—would be any suggestion
that the materials which are withheld for the time being
are things which do not matter for purposes of historical
reconstruction. Here is a point where a cause might
easily be betrayed almost in absence of mind. It is a
point that goes to the very basis of historical science.

Those. who are not trained in the construction of
historical narrative are very seldom aware of the radical
way in which a story that has been built up on a given